In my previous article, I had explained what Porting is and how one can port their health insurance policy to new insurer without loosing out on the benefits. In this blog, we will focus on few important things which you should remember while porting Health Insurance policy.
Related Article – How to Port your Health Insurance Policy
1. Cannot Port to Lower Sum Assured
You cannot port your insurance policy to lower sum assured. It will have to be either the same sum assured or to higher sum assured policy. As per IRDA rules, new health insurer will have to insure you atleast upto the sum assured covered by previous insurer. So for example, if Krishna is having a policy of 10 Lakh and now wants to port to new policy of 8 Lakh, he cannot do it. His new policy will have to be of atleast 10 Lakh or more.
2. Waiting Period Clause for Pre-Existing Diseases
If you are porting to a new policy with same Sum Assured, then the number of years you spent towards waiting period in old policy will be counted and accordingly reduced in new policy.
Example – Javed wants to port his personal health insurance policy of 5 Lakhs from ICICI to HDFC. He had purchased ICICI policy 2 years back. On research, Javed found that waiting period for pre-existing diseases is 3 years in HDFC. But since he has already covered 2 years in ICICI, he will have to wait for only 1 more year instead of 3 years in HDFC before pre-existing diseases can be covered.
3. Change in Sum Assured
If you continue with the same Sum Assured in new policy, then the waiting period reduces as described in point #2. However, if you increase the Sum Assured in new policy, you will have to serve entire waiting period for the extra Sum Assured taken.
Example – Sheryl had purchased a 4 Lakhs sum assured family health insurance policy in 2015 from Oriental Insurance. Now, after 4 years, she feels the need to increase her cover due to increasing medical costs. She also is not very happy with Oriental Insurance and plans to port the policy. She ports to a 10 Lakh policy with Religare. However, once she receives the policy document, she is surprised to see that there is waiting period of 4 years for the additional 6 Lakhs she had increased her sum assured by. So, for the original 4 Lakh, there will not be any waiting period and she will be covered from day 1 in Religare. But for remaining 6 Lakhs, she will have to serve the entire waiting period.
4. Porting Request Can Be Rejected
Don’t assume that your porting request will always be approved. Depending on your medical history and health check-up reports, the new insurance provider has the right to reject your porting request.
Example – Sweta was surprised when her health insurance porting request from Star Health to Max Bupa was rejected. She had filled all details correctly, shared all the documents and even undergone the medical test. While Max Bupa did not reveal the reasons for porting, she later found out from internal sources that her medical tests had revealed lots of health related issues which meant higher chances of she claiming insurance and losses to new insurance provider. These health issues were not present when she had purchased Star Health policy but developed over time without her knowledge.
5. Premiums can change
Policy premium can be increased after health checkup results are analyzed by the new insurance provider.
Another scenario in Sweta’s example is for Max Bupa to offer her health insurance but with increased premium.
6. You can also port within same insurance provider
Apart from having the option to port to a new insurer, you can also port to a new policy (of same type).
Example – Abhishek had purchased Individual health insurance policy with ICICI few years back. Few days back, he received a mail detailing new health insurance policy launched by ICICI. On comparison, Abhishek found that the new policy is actually better than his existing policy. In this case, he can port to new policy without losing out on waiting period benefits of old policy
Waiting period benefit is applicable not only on porting to other insurance provider but also for porting to other policy of same insurance provider.
7. Decision within 15 Days
In order to protect policy holders interests, insurance regulator IRDA has set a timeframe of 15 days in which new insurance provider must decide whether to accept the porting request or not. In case they do not complete porting decision within 15 days, automatic porting will happen and new insurer will have to abide by it. (source – Mint)
8. Other Things to Remember
- There are no extra charges for porting
- No Claim Bonus will also be applicable in new policy while porting
- Ensure new insurer has not added any permanent exclusion or any other clause in the policy which does not suit you.